Tributes have poured in to an inspirational Aberdeen dad who spoke openly about his mental health in an effort to encourage others to do likewise.
Bradley Allan was known to many in the north-east as the “Anxiety Bloke” after he launched a Facebook page and wrote a book of the same name to share his own brave battle – and offer help and advice to others in similar situations.
The father died on Sunday, May 9, and since then hundreds of heartfelt tributes have poured over social media including from the 18,000 followers of his Facebook page.
Mr Allan’s heartbroken son, Brandon Allan Meister, led the tributes, posting: “My dad, my best friend, my idol.
“I am totally heartbroken and in shock at even writing this. Sadly my best friend gained a place in heaven this morning.
“I don’t need to write paragraph upon paragraph telling everyone about our bond, everyone knew how close we were and how much we both mean to each other.
“I’m so proud of how much we achieved together and I will never ever be able to repay you for everything you have taught me.
“I love you so much dad. It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later.”
As well as offering up their condolences, many have thanked the car and gym enthusiast for helping them with their own struggles over the years.
A spokesman for Warehouse Health Club in the city centre, where Mr Allan was a member, wrote: “We are absolutely lost for words and gutted beyond belief to hear about the tragic passing of a friend and all round top bloke with a heart of gold Bradley Allan.
“RIP buddy will all miss you.”
Speaking out to help others
Mr Allan often spoke publicly with Aberdeen mental health community group and social media support platform Man Chat.
Its founder Wray Thomson said the “well-liked” character would be “celebrated”.
He added: “It’s very apparent from the outpouring on social media, not only how well liked Bradley was by a large amount of people, but he helped so many others by sharing his story.
“The impact of his ability to be a normal bloke but still outspoken about his mental health is easy to see.
“He’ll be dearly missed. And it just goes to show how opening yourself emotionally as a bloke isn’t shunned any more, it’s celebrated. His character will be celebrated and that’s what’s important.”
In 2018 Mr Allan published his book The Anxiety Bloke: Smashing Anxiety in the Face, One Day at a Time.
At the time, he said: “This is my story of battling with anxiety and becoming a better person every day.
“It is the pure, raw line of events that will describe how I felt and ways in which anxiety got to me, pulling me away from my passions and loved ones.
“Anxiety is a real medical disease that should be taken seriously. And for those of you who may be overwhelmed by it, my book has one message: you are not alone.”
“Forever and always our Anxiety Bloke”
Many friends have shared how that book and message has helped them while sharing their sympathies online.
One wrote: “Known Bradley for years. His book really helped, any problem you had, the top guy listened. He didn’t judge.”
Having spoken several times with this giant gent and knowing about all the hard work he did to spread the word about…
Another posted: “The world can be a right cruel place at times. R.I.P to the beautiful human Bradley Allan. I just hope that you knew how much you helped all of us when we were in some of our darkest times.
“Forever and always our Anxiety Bloke. Nothing but love and condolences to all Bradley’s family, children and friends.”
Samaritans provides free anonymous and confidential emotional support for people experiencing crisis and distress, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
You can contact Samaritans by phone on 116 123, by email email@example.com or visit online at Samaritans.org